Pre-Visualization... my experience on getting better images

Reposted from my former website, 15 Feb 12...

Today's image is probably my favorite of 2012, SO FAR.  This photo has special signficance because I had pre-visualized what I wanted a week earlier.  Here's the story... I showed up at this beach near my work and saw this large rock outcropping about 100 feet away from the beach.  When I arrived, the low tide allowed me to walk out to about 30 feet but I still wasn't able to reach the rock without having to swim out to it.  This large rock has an opening in it where you can see through it.  After observing this I was picturing getting under that opening and grabbing a photo of the setting sun through that opening.  As I was thinking about this, I didn't give myself much of a chance to get this photo because a number of elements had to come together.  First, the low tide needed to get significantly lower so I could walk out to the rock outcropping.  Second, I had to get this shot in the next month or so while the sunset azimuth would still line up with the rock's opening. Third I wanted water in the shot so while getting a low tide was required, I didn't want it toolow, just enough to get out there.  Well one week later I went back to the site and just about everything lined up as I planned.  I was able to walk out to the rock, the water level was just under the opening and the sunset was still in the correct azimuth.  The only shortcoming was I wanted to actually catch the sun with that beautiful flare coming through the opening, but it was too cloudy that day.  Fortunately there was enough sun color coming through the clouds to liven up the scene.